Editor’s note: Technology Business Research offers insight into how to win in digital transformation: Embracing a process-led approach. This is the first of a two-part report. 

HAMPTON, N.H. – TBR hears a broad range of positions on the digital transformation (DT) market in its interactions with advisory and IT services vendors, with vendors applying the term with extremely broad strokes, often geared more toward marketing than defining a concrete capability.

While some seek to bucket DT as an all-encompassing umbrella under which a huge range of disruptive technologies exist, others use the term more judiciously to discuss leveraging technology to functionally change a business.

While digital transformations cannot exist without disruptive technologies, the concurrent yet also independent themes can complicate conversations about the topic.

Upon the launch of TBR’s DT research program, the first task was to seek commonality among vendors to best cross-compare industry adoption rates and vendor penetration — ultimately examining how to best identify where pockets of spending are coming from, what technologies are being adopted by end users, which areas vendors are investing in and, most importantly, where vendors are generating business from.

To achieve this, we’ve decided to look at DT from a process standpoint, understanding that client initiatives are generally not about reinvention of the full enterprise, but rather modernization of a discrete business function, such as supply chain or customer engagement, to take better advantage of the technological capabilities that exist in today’s market.

We believe a process focused examination of DT will enable us to answer the following questions:

  • Goal: Why are you investing in transformation
  • Maturity: Where are you in the transformation process
  • Roles: Who is driving the transformation
  • Budget: Who owns the budget? How much are you budgeting?
  • Factors: What is driving and challenging your transformation?
  • Vendors: Which DT services and technology providers are you using?
  • Technologies: What platforms and systems are growth opportunities?

Part Two: Defining the landscape, segmenting digital transformation